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Featured Speakers, Panelists and Framers

Pete Peterson

Pete Peterson

Pete Peterson is Executive Director of Common Sense California (www.commonsenseca.org), an organization that promotes and supports citizen engagement as a way of producing more creative policy decisions and better citizens. Pete developed and managed the organization's 2008 Citizen Engagement Grant Program, which offered $150,000 in grants to municipalities and school districts across the state to support their efforts to involve citizens in important policy decisions ranging from budgets to land use and planning. Pete has consulted on several of these "participatory planning" and "participatory budgeting" projects in cities ranging from Brea to Hercules. Pete has co-created and currently co-facilitates the training seminar, "Leadership through Civic Engagement" – a program offered to California leaders from city planners to regional officials.

In July 2008, Pete edited and co-wrote the report, "Inventory: Citizen Engagement Projects in California," the most comprehensive review of the subject available. He writes on civic participation for a variety of online and print journals, and posts regularly to the "inCommon Blog" – a site dedicated to covering civic participation efforts around the world. Pete lectures at Pepperdine's School of Public Policy, where he has taught courses on civic engagement and California policy issues.

Pete earned his BA in History from George Washington University, and his Masters (with highest honors) in Public Policy from Pepperdine's School of Public Policy. He was also a Public Affairs Fellow at The Hoover Institution in 2006.